Rep. Luiz Gutiérrez (D-IL) signaled Tuesday that he does not see a middle ground sought by House Republican lawmakers between a pathway to citizenship and mass deportation for the roughly 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that we need to figure out a way to integrate them,” he told reporters. “Now let me just say this: I think it would be wrong for us to create a permanent underclass of people who live in this country who never can reach American citizenship. I want them to have all the responsibilities and obligations that come along with American citizenship… Because I think that’s what integrates them into America.”
Gutiérrez, an outspoken advocate for immigration reform, said he’s continuing conversations with Republicans on how to resolve the issue and signaled that he’s pleased with the direction they’re moving in.
“We cannot give up on each other and on trying to find a solution to the problem.”